About Lieutenant James Decatur
Lieutenant James Decatur was killed in action in 1804 during the First Barbary War.
The Tripoli Monument, the oldest military monument in the U.S., honors the heroes of the First Barbary War, including James Decatur (brother of Stephen Decatur). Others honored are: Master Commandant Richard Somers, Lieutenant James Caldwell, Henry Wadsworth, Joseph Israel and John Dorsey. Originally known as the Naval Monument, it was carved of Carrara marble in Italy in 1806 and brought to the U.S. as ballast on board the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides"). From its original location in the Washington Navy Yard, it was moved to the west terrace of the national Capitol and finally, in 1860, to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.